AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - As Amarillo Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs celebrates their 5th anniversary, one local man is celebrating his road to recovery.
"I'm about to graduate on Friday, and I'm looking forward to that," said Amarillo resident Billy Hutcherson. "For a fresh start. I got what I needed to out of the program and now I'm really excited about that."
Hutcherson will graduate the ARAD Shelter Treatment Program this week and is hopeful for the future. However, his life journey up until now has been anything but easy.
"I've been struggling with meth addiction for the last five years of my life. The direction I was headed was not desirable at all," said Hutcherson.
Like many others, Hutcherson believed he could fight off his addiction on his own. But says making the choice to finally join the program was his best decision yet.
"It doesn't end right here," said Hutcherson. "What they are giving us right now are the tools we need for the rest of our lives, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out."
Local homeless shelters refer residents like Hutcherson who are in need of treatment for alcohol and substance abuse disorder to ARAD. For six weeks, program participants are educated on their disorders as well as given tips and tools to help them readjust to society.
"It feels great to have my family's support and to also be in the program with other people that are trying to do the same thing. It makes a world of difference to know that I'm not alone out here. That addiction is a serious thing," said Hutcherson. "For the the ones that don't know about it, I encourage them to look into it and not judge people for the mistakes they've made, because it's definitely possible to overcome that."
What's next for Hutcherson?
"I'm looking forward to just living a normal life addiction free. Getting back with my family and raising my son and being there for him is the main thing that I focus on everyday. Carrying out what the Lord wants me to do to the best of my knowledge," said Hutcherson.
ARAD's graduates reduce their number of arrests by 87 percent post-treatment. This large decline in arrest rates saves the local criminal justice system almost $4.4 million dollars.